A 16-year-old boy from Ohio was injured in a bear attack at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was around 10:30pm on a Saturday night and both father and son were sleeping in hammocks around 10 feet apart. The pair were on a backpacking trip through the mountains. The boy awoke when the bear pulled him from the hammock.
The teen’s father woke up from the commotion and managed to drive the bear away. They then hiked to the shore of a lake, where some campers were able to boat them across the rescue personnel. The pair were airlifted to Mission Hospital in Nashville, North Carolina at around 3 AM. The boy sustained several injuries to his head and body but was listed in stable condition.
Park officials say the pair had properly secured their packs using aerial storage cables. “It sounds like this son and father were doing the right thins” say park spokeswoman Danna Soehn. “(It’s) just a very rare and unusual situation.” She says that historically, May and June are tough months for bears in the Smoky Mountains since their natural summer foods have not yet come in. “After the summer foods come in, we see far less aggressive bear behavior,” she says.
1. Liz Overton, “Brushes With Bears Closing Trials,” USA Today June 9, 2015 p. 4A